The year 2016 marks the 35th anniversary of the DMA’s Concentrations series, which was inaugurated in 1981 with paintings and monotypes by Richard Shaffer.
Initially planned as a series of five exhibitions exploring the work of living artists, Concentrations has grown into a long-running series featuring emerging and international artists working across a range of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, film and video, assemblage, and site-specific installations. Over the history of the series, nine curators have organized Concentrations exhibitions: Sue Graze (21), Steven A. Nash (1), Joan Davidow (3), Dave Hickey (1), Annegreth Nill (1), Charles Wylie (4), Suzanne Weaver (22), Jeffrey Grove (2), and Gabriel Ritter (5).
In celebration of the anniversary, I’ve pulled together some fun facts about the series with installation photos to illustrate them.
1. How many Concentrations exhibitions were held primarily outdoors in the Sculpture Garden?
Answer: Four, although there were a few exhibitions that had work in the Sculpture Garden in addition to the works in the galleries
Concentrations 8: Dalton Maroney was also the first exhibition held at the new Museum building downtown. It opened with the Sculpture Garden a few months before the Museum building.
2. What two exhibition series are related to Concentrations?
Answer: Projects and Encounters
Projects was a series of three exhibitions in 1975 curated by Robert Murdock, Curator of Contemporary Art. The three exhibitions in the series featured work by David McManaway, Bruce Cunningham, and Raffaele Martini. The series inspired the creation of the Concentrations series in 1981 by Curator of Contemporary Art Sue Graze.
Encounters was a series of six exhibitions held between 1992 and 1995 that were presented in place of Concentrations. The series, created and curated by Curator of Contemporary Art Annegreth Nill, paired the work of a regional artist with that of an artist from the national or international arena to increase potential dialogue.
3. Concentrations exhibitions have primarily been one-person shows, with a few duos (Peter Fischli/David Weiss, Jane and Louise Wilson, and Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla) and one collective (Slavs and Tatars). How many have shown the work of two or more artists working separately?
4. How many artists have been part of a Concentrations exhibition?
Answer: 81 – This includes the twelve artists in Concentrations 23: Texas Figurative Drawings and counts the collective Slavs and Tatars from Concentrations 57 as one artist. Concentrations 24: Continuities of Concern is not included. About 40% of the artists are women.
I will close with a few more images from past Concentrations exhibitions to show the variety of work over 59 shows. More information on these and all Concentrations exhibitions can be found in Past Exhibitions on DMA.org. Concentrations 60: Lucie Stahl will open on September 16. Admission is FREE.
Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.